St Mirren chairman "unhappy" with Celtic supporters' Paisley allocation
St Mirren chairman John Needham is “unhappy” with Celtic’s current allocation in Paisley and could look to slash it to just over 1600.
The Hoops support were this season given both the North and South stands when they visited the SMiSA Stadium. This has meant that around 3300 Celtic supporters had been given access to the ground for their 0-0 draw in December.
The same goes for Rangers in a decision made by St Mirren at the start of the season. Initially, it was a verdict given due to the fact that it was a major cash injection for the Premiership club [Scottish Sun].
However, St Mirren’s chairman has grown unhappy with the arrangement and believes the situation to have become “toxic”. As quoted by the Scottish Sun, an answer to the club’s Q&A at their recent AGM said the following on the matter:
“A number of members asked about the situation with the Old Firm fans being given the Tony Fitzpatrick Stand and what the club’s stance on it will be going forward. John Needham replied that he is as unhappy about that scenario as any supporter and is currently chairing a working group who have been examining alternative ways to recoup that revenue if the decision is taken to only give Celtic and Rangers one stand in future seasons.
“The working group is expected to deliver their recommendations in the coming days. John admits the club may need to take a financial hit in the short term but appreciates it has become a “toxic” matter in the eyes of many supporters and so it is about arriving at the best possible solution to a difficult problem.”
Celtic could be set for allocation cut in Paisley
If St Mirren take the decision to stop Celtic and Rangers supporters from taking the Tony Fitzpatrick Family Stand, then it would leave us with 1654 tickets. That’s the total number of seats the North Stand at the SMiSA stadium has [St Mirren].
The Buddies are set to make an announcement on this in the coming days. However, chances are it will indeed be the case that Celtic fans won’t get the St Mirren Family Stand from next season onwards.
Given the fact their own chairman believes the situation to be toxic amongst his own support, that doesn’t bode well.
Cutting allocations is of course all well and good so long as the home support can actually fill them. We saw huge gaps at Tannadice in our Scottish Cup quarter-final clash after the Tayside club slashed Celtic’s allocation and refused to give them the Shed area of the ground. In the end, it led to massive gaps within the main stand as the plan backfired.
If St Mirren are going to be cutting our allocation from next season, you would hope their fans would be big enough to snap the tickets up. If they don’t, then we’re just keeping fans locked out and cutting our nose off to spite our face.
That St Mirren appear prepared to take the financial hit is also a touch surprising. But if this is a route they decide to go down, it can only really be judged after we see how their first home fixture vs Celtic/Rangers pans out.
In other news, Kyogo outlines his exciting Celtic target between now and the end of the season